->''"It was as if God had decided to put to the test every capacity for surprise... to such an extreme that no-one knew for certain where the limits of reality lay. It was an intricate stew of truths and mirages that convulsed the ghost of José Arcadio Buendía with impatience and made him wander all through the house even in broad daylight."''
-->-- '''Creator/GabrielGarciaMarquez''' (after the arrival of the railroad, when dozens of new inventions -- the phonograph, the telephone, the electric lightbulb -- flooded Macondo), ''Literature/OneHundredYearsOfSolitude''

It definitely isn't ScienceFiction and not quite UrbanFantasy and yet... stuff happens. Unlikely stuff like tchotchkes telling the heroine what to do (''Series/{{Wonderfalls}}'') or the ghost of your father showing up at odd intervals to offer personal and/or professional advice (''Series/DueSouth'') or perhaps it's just a quirky vibe that infuses the environment (''Series/NorthernExposure'', ''Series/TwinPeaks'').

Magical realism is a story that takes place in a realistic setting that is recognizable as our past or present world (this excludes futuristic space colonies, lost ancient cities, et al.), incorporating impossible or supernatural elements (ghosts, spirits, miracles, powers, [[PsychicDreamsForEveryone prophecies]], etc.) where these extraordinary things are [[MundaneFantastic viewed as not just normal but also unremarkable]], and thus, nobody bothers to explain why they exist or happen. The use of MagicAIsMagicA can also help the audience accept the incongruity.

Magical realism's origins have a strong connection to {{surrealism}}, which takes place in a dreamlike setting.

The term "magical realism" is sometimes misused to explain why a favorite work is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_fiction literary fiction]] and thus [[SciFiGhetto somehow superior]] to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genre_fiction genre fiction]] like {{Fantasy}} and ScienceFiction. On the other hand, the inclusion of well-written magical realism into the canons of LitFic is historically well supported, as UsefulNotes/LatinAmerica's major 20th-century authors mostly wrote in this genre. The literary world outside of Latin America so closely associates the region with magical realism that the [=McOndo=] movement (for which see below) exists chiefly to prove that not everything literary that comes from Latin America involves magic and angels. Also, the way that religious and horror fiction are distinct enough to be distinguished from fantasy even when they fit its basic definition of containing unscientific elements, the same is true for magical realism.

Rule of thumb: Say there are vampires in New York.
* If the existence of vampires doesn't shock anyone, but the fact that they're vampires is constantly being pointed out, it's UrbanFantasy.
* If a cop's partner is very pale, very strong, generally acts odd, and come to think of it, he's never been seen in daylight, but the story focuses primarily on just a PoliceProcedural or the interpersonal relationships, it's MaybeMagicMaybeMundane.
* If the cop just goes through his life as a cop, but his partner is a vampire whose ID has "vampire" printed next to his eye color, who's greeted by cheerful children in the street who are more fascinated by his shiny badge than by his teeth, and who casually drinks blood in plain sight out of transfusion packs during coffee breaks, it's a case of MagicalRealism.

From another perspective, it's a given that any non-fantasy [[TheMusical musical]] is by definition magical realism, since spontaneously breaking into song with invisible accompaniment gets taken as a perfectly normal thing, although there are a few exceptions where the incongruity is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]], the most notable recent example being ''Film/{{Enchanted}}''. (See MusicalWorldHypotheses for other interpretations.)

A story strays from magical realism if the magical elements are [[DoingInTheWizard eventually explained scientifically]]. Stories also stray if a [[HandWave vague explanation]] is used to wave away any questions. Often shows up in a ParanormalEpisode.

For when it's ambiguous whether an element has a magical or scientific nature, as in [[Creator/FranzKafka Kafka's]] ''Literature/TheMetamorphosis'' where the protagonist has either actually turned into an insect or just gone insane, see MaybeMagicMaybeMundane and UnreliableNarrator. Magical realism is not to be confused with UrbanFantasy, which is when magical elements that are seen as a natural part of reality are still noteworthy and attract attention simply for being magical. Not to be confused with {{Slipstream}}, which is the general literary effect of unexplained strangeness.

For when a retelling of a [[TwiceToldTale popular legend]] completely removes all magical elements, see {{Demythtification}}. For when different mythologies from different time periods are combined into a setting that is unrecognizable as any period in our world, see TheTimeOfMyths. If fairy-tale tropes in a fairy-tale setting are [[PlayingWithATrope played with]] as MundaneFantastic, it's a FracturedFairyTale. Compare HowUnscientific for when magic shows up in stories that start out realistically, and see DominoRevelation for stories where the introduction of one magical element leads to more and more.

[[noreallife]]
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* In this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5DWyg4ylnQ Corona Commercial]] the environment shifts between a ski resort and a beach and nobody finds this weird.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' might fit into this category better than ScienceFiction. Among other things, it seems that dead people go to (or through) the Wired after they die, computer equipment can grow like vines, and the physical reality is as much "data" as the computer-world and can likewise be programmed by gifted individuals. And it's perhaps the only cyberpunk, or scienfictionish narrative to convincingly do so. The reason why ''Serial Experiment Lain'' might be an example of this trope [[spoiler:it's because it basically deals with the digital world, merging with the real world. Thus creating a hybrid where the rules of this reality don't apply]]. The problem with this theory is that people do seem to take notice of the change; [[spoiler:one guy even shoots himself in the head because of it.]] Perspective is everything. Lain's point of view perhaps flips towards UrbanFantasy in the end, but Arisu's remains in the field of Magic Realism.
* ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei'' also fits. Creator/YoshitoshiAbe is a huge fan of the genre. The show is heavily inspired by the "End Of The World" narrative in ''Literature/HardBoiledWonderlandAndTheEndOfTheWorld'' by Creator/HarukiMurakami.
* ''Manga/NagasareteAirantou'' is a comedic first-class example. Ikuto, young man of the modern age and the main character finds himself on an island stuck -- culturally, at any rate -- in the late 19th century. Normal enough at first but before long he's rationalizing away the more... unconventional aspects of his new home, like magic, talking animals, youkai, etc.
* ''Manga/AsatteNoHoukou'': The setting is mundane except for the wishing stone that changes Karada and Shoukos' ages.
* The over arching plot and background of ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' has elements of Magic Realism even though the individual pieces are UrbanFantasy and ScienceFiction. This is due mainly to Haruhi's powers being very subtle and especially the lack of certainty about what is really a coincidence and what is outright alteration of reality.
* ''Manga/LuckyStar'' dips into this once when the main character's dead mother visits her family as a ghost.
* ''Manga/SchoolRumble'' is a normal high school story with normal (if goofy) protagonists. Then Yakumo states that she can magically read people's minds, her older sister can bend spoons with her mind, {{Dracula}} helped out with a school festival, Akira may or may not be a secret agent, and Yakumo and Iori the cat once switched bodies. There's definitely odd things going on, but they're not the focus of the story.
* The crux of the plot of ''Manga/DeathNote'' is a magical item from another world falling into the hands of an ordinary (albeit with some... personality quirks) human boy in our world and what he chooses to do with it. Aside from the Death Notes and shinigami, the world depicted in ''Death Note'' is highly realistic, and much of the plot focuses so heavily on the human characters using real-world methods and technology to try to catch the VillainProtagonist -- and the magic itself is treated in such a mundane and almost scientific fashion -- that you might occasionally forget that the plot is founded on the supernatural to begin with.
* Similar to the example above, ''Manga/HikaruNoGo'' deals with this. The plot is mostly about a normal SliceOfLife exploits of the title character's Go games -- the fact that Hikaru only started being interested in Go is because of a thousand-year-old ghost of a Go master who wishes to continue playing forces him to do so.
* ''Manga/TheKurosagiCorpseDeliveryService'' might seem like UrbanFantasy -- you've got a psychic, a hacker, a dowser, an embalmer and a channeller of aliens all in the business of physically transporting dead bodies to where ''the dead'' want to go -- but the setting is resolutely realistic, and they've got the [[FootnoteFever footnotes to prove it]].
* The works of Creator/SatoshiKon offer lot of examples of this, specially in ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent'' and ''Anime/TokyoGodfathers''.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'' is mostly a slice-of-life romance in a realistic, present-day setting... except for the GenkiGirl in a coma somehow astral projecting herself whom only some can see, a cat who temporarily turns into a human boy and can grant one wish, a lonely world no-one can see that exists somewhere between the layers of our own, and the past being rewritten after years of tragedy, finally resulting in a happy ending.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'', another Key anime, is very similar: it's just a normal high school anime, except for the fox that turns into a human girl, the girl [[spoiler:with healing powers]] who fights invisible monsters with a sword, and (yet another) [[spoiler:girl in a coma projecting herself and magically producing a happy ending]].
* To complete the trifecta, ''VisualNovel/{{Air}}'' also does this, with several characters supposedly descended from {{Winged Humanoid}}s, or possibly just nuts. A distant-past segment has some winged women, yet [[MindScrew implies that their wings may have been an embellishment to the story and/or a metaphor for their deaths.]] The male lead has a doll which he can control seemingly through telekinesis, but it's never explicitly stated to not be just a trick.[[spoiler:Near the end, he appears to go back in time and become the bird that was hanging around throughout the series. If he actually did, there's no explanation of how, and it's possible he just went crazy.]]
* Then there's ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', which is a totally normal, happy game about the everyday school life of a boy and his friends. And then there's one unusual girl who doesn't have a shadow but does have a strange doppelganger, and when he starts romancing another girl strange things start to happening such as snow falling in May... [[spoiler:Although in the end it turns out to be a bit more of a subtle example than the rest: all of the supernatural things happened because they took place within the dream Kyousuke created to replay the same month over and over to prepare Riki for the events ahead, meaning that the creation of that dream was the only truly magical thing to have happened.]]
* ''Manga/SkipBeat'' is a story about a girl who sets out to become a star in the Japanese entertainment industry, and follows her ups and downs, new friendships and possible romantic interests, and her burgeoning career. Said girl also has a demon army that gives her anger and resentment a voice and physical presence, and the resident esper is actually ''not'' a fake.
* Arguably the existence of personified countries in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' would count, especially when their dynamics are played with.
* ''Manga/HelenESP'' never explains the nature or origin of Helen's psychic powers, and they don't really change that much about her life.
* ''VisualNovel/DaCapo''. The main character is a mage who jumps into people's dreams, there's also a magical cherry tree that grants wishes, a reality altering witch, mind readers, cats becoming human, a human sized cat that the girls see around town, and ever blooming cherry trees, and although it's a bit odd, nobody ever questions their reality.
* ''Anime/MawaruPenguindrum'', where the main characters' souls are represented by penguins only they can see, aphrodisiac potions brewed from frogs really work, and key scenes take place on a strange, alternate version of the Tokyo subway all pass without much comment. For extra credit, the show makes several references to other examples of Magical Realism, such as ''Anime/NightOnTheGalacticRailroad'' and {{Creator/Haruki Murakami}}'s works.
* TwinSpica is a sci-fi series that falls on the high end of MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness. And there's "Mr. Lion", the ghost of an astronaut who died in a major shuttle accident prior to the events of the story and now mentors the main character. [[spoiler: Shuu is implied to have become a Mr. Lion-style ghost as well after his death.]]
* ''Manga/CafeKichijoujiDe'' is a SliceOfLife manga that deals with the light-hearted, comedic antics of its staffs. One of the staffs also happens to be a [[AmbiguouslyHuman questionable human being]] who uses Necronomicon as his cooking guide, and is capable of curses and minor [[RealityWarper reality warping]].
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' is about a teenage detective that solves crimes... even after a failed poisoning attempt [[FountainOfYouth changes him into a kid]] and he has to move in with his childhood friend who is enough of an ActionGirl to qualify for [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower being borderline super-powered]]. On a lesser note characters sometimes have successful premonitions of danger, like the ActionGirl did in the first episode before the titular character is poisoned. If that's not enough, MagicKaito takes place in the same universe and the bad guys are searching for a specific jewel that [[spoiler:may [[ImmortalityInducer make a person immortal]].]] Other than that, it's a pretty straight-forward mystery series.
* ''Manga/TonnuraSan'' is about a family who adopted a stray cat... [[TalkingAnimal who's quite articulate]], gentlemanly, wise, and overall charming. At one point, the owner was worried that such an animal would cause a great commotion, but his charms simply wins everyone over.
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', a series set in a fairly normal, if clearly rich, high school, where students deal with their turmoil, hatred and/or pettiness. And some of the students fence for possession of a [[spoiler: seemingly immortal]] girl underneath an inverted castle, all for the vague end of revolutionising the world. Oh, and there's a guy who may or may not be [[spoiler: God/Lucifer]]. Characters react to all this as they would towards lesser, or at least real world, events. Utena, though shocked by the inverted castle, would probably experience the same level of surprise finding a regular castle hidden in the woods.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Both Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez's work in ''ComicBook/LoveAndRockets'' has magic realist elements, although more frequently in Gilbert's. For example:
** A character in Gilbert's Palomar stories has premonitions of people's deaths, when he sees images of them sitting under a certain tree.
** The supernatural and quasi-magical events surrounding Izzy Ortiz in the "Locas" stories, even after they otherwise become completely SliceOfLife.
* ''Franchise/ArchieComics'' have had some TimeTravel and there was even a series of ''Little Archie'' comics that had stuff like witches, a SeaMonster, and ''dragons''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'' comics are usually grounded in the real world, with tales of crime and political intrigue. A few stories, however, have elements of science fiction (the Phosilite meteorite from "The Shooting Star", a moon voyage in "Destination Moon"/"Explorers on the Moon", and an alien abduction in "Flight 714 to Sydney") and fantasy (a psychic vision in "The Seven Crystal Balls", sympathetic magic being used to lay an Incan curse in "Prisoners of the Sun", and more psychic powers and a yeti in "Tintin in Tibet").
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' may only barely qualify, as most of the material revolves around talking animals, but most of the time they're talking about real-world stuff. Then, of course, there's the fact that the Monster in the Closet may actually be real.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Candorville}}'' is usually credible enough, allowing for a pretty serious undercurrent to the punchlines in Lemont's life. But every few months, he'll meet someone like a talking scarecrow, a ghost, or himself from the future.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'': A world where one encounters inexplicably sentient plants and animals, mythological creatures who may or may not really exist, buildings that are larger on the inside than the outside, and several young children with unexplained highly-advanced talents and knowledge would probably be considered by many to be a magic realist setting. And that's the world Charlie Brown wakes up to every day.
* The existence of guardian angels, sentient animals and plants and fairies (although they only showed up once) qualifies ''ComicStrip/RoseIsRose'' as this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Anime/{{Tekkonkinkreet}}'' has the main characters that can fly/glide, alien assassins, and psychic bonds between brothers. None of this is explained or even really acknowledged.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Amelie}}'' has some. Talking photographs and paintings, and Amélie watching a documentary about her own life and death being the instances that come to mind the most.
* In ''Film/KillBill'', the martial arts master Pai Mei is said to be at least a thousand years old. The credibility of this statement isn't even questioned by any of the characters; [[spoiler: given that he could explode people's hearts, being ReallySevenHundredYearsOld may not be too much to swallow...]]
* Creator/DavidLynch's films have it both ways. Some of them really do fit the definition of Magic Realism and fit comfortably within the genre, while others are ''clearly'' supernatural but are lumped in with MagicalRealism because it's an easy way out of the SciFiGhetto. It doesn't help that the only Lynch film they really can't weasel their way out of acknowledging as what it is, ''Film/{{Dune}}'', really ''was'' bad.
** There is some disagreement over the setting of ''Film/{{Eraserhead}}'', whether it's a Magical Realist Pittsburgh or a PostApocalyptic nightmare land or [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory Purgatory]] or the inside of someone's nightmare or anything really. Perhaps it would be better to say that there may be some agreements about ''Eraserhead''.
** ''Inland Empire'' straddles the line of this and Absurdism, but ''Mulholland Drive'' IS magical realism.
* ''Film/AHardDaysNight''. Most of it is realistic enough that viewers have mistaken it for a real {{Documentary}}; but there are a couple of segments which just cannot happen in even Music/TheBeatles' real life, and (this being a comedy) there isn't even a HandWave for why they happen.
* Nearly every film the Coen brothers make has at least some Magic Realist elements, with ''Film/OBrotherWhereArtThou'', ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy'', and ''Film/BartonFink'' being the most obvious examples.
* The FilmOfTheBook of ''Film/BeingThere'' diverges from its source novel in this manner. Hal Ashby, the director, came up with [[spoiler:a different ending than the one scripted]] as a salute to how believable the actors were - since the audience would already accept Chance the Gardener becoming one of the most important men in the world in a matter of days simply through misunderstandings, then they would also accept [[spoiler:the final shot's revelation that he can literally WalkOnWater. There's no explanation given as to how, and Chance is as surprised as the audience is; he even tests the depth of the water with his umbrella...but, being who he is, he accepts it right away as just something he can do.]]
* ''Film/LAStory'', written by Steve Martin, applies many of the tropes of Magical Realism. What else can you call a story where a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_message_sign variable-message sign]] on the highway offers a character advice on his love life?
* ''Film/StrangerThanFiction''. The movie is more or less like this, Harold is struggling with life, and the only magical thing is that he seems to be the main character of a book. The book in question also seems to have Magic Realism elements to it, as his watch becomes sentient for a second.
* The 1998 theatrical film based on the Creator/CirqueDuSoleil show ''Theatre/{{Alegria}}''. It's obvious the world the characters exist in is a little more colorful and eccentric than ours, but possible magic comes in at the end when [[spoiler: the manager/ringmaster encounters and converses with his own stage character]].
* ''Film/ValerieAndHerWeekOfWonders'' is a surreal Czech film based on novel of the same name, in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.
* The revenge western ''Film/SeraphimFalls'' verges into magical realism in the third act, when a MagicalNativeAmerican and a snake oil saleswoman appear out of nowhere to each of the two main characters and engineer a final confrontation between the nemeses. The Native American is named Charon in the credits and the saleswoman's name is revealed to be [[LouisCypher Louise C. Fair]].
* Take "magic realism," replace "magic" with "video game," and that's ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld''. Enemies have unique mystical powers, video game graphics show up and may even be interacted with by characters, and people explode into coins once bested in a duel. But otherwise, you know, just the normal lives of twenty-something Canadians. While these elements appeared in the graphic novel source material, the film revels in it all, maybe just because we see it all in motion.
* ''Film/BigFish'' has the main character's father spice up his life story with small magic tidbits every now and then. The main character believes he's making it all up, until [[spoiler:the father's funeral, where many of the magical characters show up.]] He concludes the only way to tell his father's story is the exact manner his father told it.
* ''Literature/TheTinDrum'' is both a novel and a film about a boy who NeverGrewUp, [[NoInfantileAmnesia was perfectly aware while in the womb]], and can [[MakeMeWannaShout create destructive screams]]. While the book version of the character is [[UnreliableNarrator likely insane]], the movie plays it straight. It's a historical/political drama.
* ''Film/DonJuanDemarco'': The [[JohnnyDepp title character]] is a mental patient, with delusions of living in a wonderful world full of romance and adventure. In the movie's final sequence, [[spoiler: he and a couple friends hop on a plane and go to that world.]]
* ''Film/MidnightInParis''. When [[MostWritersAreWriters Gil Pender]] waits on a certain street corner of Paris at midnight, a car arrives and takes him to famous Paris locales [[TimeTravel in the 1920s]], where he spends his nights with people like Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso. [[spoiler:In the 1920s, waiting in a certain spot allows the protagonist to travel to an even earlier era, and so on and so forth.]]
* Several sequences in ''Film/ComeAndSee'' are implausible and downright surreal, and intentionally so.
* ''Film/FannyAndAlexander'' has a mostly realistic setting, but with fairy-tale aspects. Alexander sees a statue move, and sees ghosts. A mummy somehow breathes. Mr. Jacobi casts a spell to make images of Fanny and Alexander appear when smuggling them out of the Vergerus home. Mr. Jacobi's disturbed son Ismael seems to bring about the death of Edvard and his aunt by some sort of psychic link, with the events transpiring in Real Life just as Ismael describes them to Alexander.
* ''Film/CelineAndJulieGoBoating'', where MindScrew meets SliceOfLife comedy.
* ''Film/RubySparks'' is about a writer who dashes off twenty pages about his perfect woman in a fit of inspiration. When [[ManicPixieDreamGirl said perfect woman]] appears in the flesh in his apartment, at first he freaks out, but soon he accepts it as a bona fide miracle.
* [[Creator/PaulThomasAnderson P.T. Anderson's]] ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'' features a relatively standard ensemble drama, until the final act, which leads to [[spoiler:a rain of frogs all over the town]].
* ''Film/RaisingArizona'' could count. The plot is centered around a fairly mundane love story/kidnapping scheme, but it also involves a bounty hunter who may or may not be a demon from Hell. And then there's the main character's tendency to have prophetic and/or clairvoyant dreams, which he doesn't seem to consider unusual.
* ''Film/TheOddLifeOfTimothyGreen'' is a charming story about the life of a little boy. It just so happens that he has leaves growing from his legs, and that he was born from a box buried in the ground that his parents had filled with their wishes for a child.
* There are several elements of magical realism in ''Film/{{Chocolat}}'', one of these being the personification of the North Wind as the force driving Vianne and Anouk to [[FlyingDutchman wander the world]].
* ''Film/{{Ladyhawke}}'': In otherwise normal medieval France, a bishop has cursed a pair of lovers to [[BalefulPolymorph transform into beasts]] at alternating times, so that they can never be together.
* A pair of Creator/ClintEastwood westerns count as this. Both ''Film/HighPlainsDrifter'' and ''Film/PaleRider'' are typical revenge stories, except that it's hinted ''very'' strongly that the protagonists have returned from the dead for their revenge.
* In ''Film/AboutTime'', the protagonist and his male ancestors have the ability to travel back in time. How they came to possess this ability is never examined or explained, and the world they live in is perfectly ordinary in all other respects.
* The 1960s children's movie ''The Gnome-mobile'' is about the adventures of an eccentric millionaire and his grandchildren who get entangled in the affairs of a pair of gnomes.
* Another 60s comedy, ''Blackbeard's Ghost'' is about a college track coach who gets involved with the eponymous spirit.
* Then there's ''The Brass Bottle'' about a man who, you guessed it, gets entangled with a supernatural being, in this case a genie. Sixties comedies really liked this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Much of Creator/RayBradbury's output, while normally shelved with typical fantasy, science fiction, and horror works could more accurately be described as Magic Realism in tone and content.
* Creator/GabrielGarciaMarquez' book ''Literature/OneHundredYearsOfSolitude'' popularized the term and is often considered to be the master work of the genre, and one of the most important pieces of universal literature written in the 20th century. A few years of rain, a gypsy who keeps coming back to life, a man who just sits in the basement and doesn't speak, and a couple dozen civil wars are some of the more normal aspects of the book. Marquez' other works also tend to feature this to a greater or lesser degree, such as ''A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings''.
* MagicalRealism is very prominent in 20th century Latin American literature. In fact, MagicalRealism is so prevalent in Latin American literature that the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McOndo McOndo movement]] was formed specifically to distance itself from its clichés.
** Mexican Laura Esquivel's ''Literature/LikeWaterForChocolate'', wherein the protagonist's feelings for her beloved are transferred into the food she is preparing, which her sister then eats, which causes her to literally burn up in passion -- she goes to use the outdoor shower and ends up ''setting it on fire'' before a soldier of the revolution rides by on horseback, scoops her up, and they have passionate sex while riding away on the horse.
** Magical cooking is a popular concept for magical realism and "straight" fantasy both within and without Latin America. See also ''Film/{{Chocolat}}'', for instance.
* Creator/FranzKafka has this in many of his works, such as having an orangutan transform into a human or a man turn into a giant cockroach, each happening for little or no discernible reason.
* Creator/ItaloCalvino is a famous Italian writer whose works skirted Magical Realism. His book ''Literature/InvisibleCities'' consisted entirely of Creator/MarcoPolo describing to Kublai Khan various cities he had visited which become less and less real as the book continues. His novellas ''The Baron in the Trees'' likewise has a Baron spend [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin his entire life in the trees and never come down]], and titles like ''The Non-Existent Knight'' are intended to be taken literally.
* The ''Literature/{{Illuminatus}}'' trilogy and most of the other novels by Robert Anton Wilson tend to alternate between this genre and ScienceFiction; the world is mostly as we know it, but there's usually some technology that can't exist in the era the stories are set in, such as a sentient computer in ''Illuminatus!''. There are always PsychicPowers as well, some more subtle than others.
* ''Literature/TheBigOne'' and its subsequent series, written by Stuart Slade, is an extremely realistic alternate history, which avoids many of the cliches of the genre in favor of a deconstructivist look at the historical implications of WorldWarII-era superweapons. Over the course of the series, however, it becomes increasingly clear that, not only are some or all of SAC's bombers sentient and capable of speaking to their crews, but the Seer, the Thai Ambassador, and several other characters are also nigh-immortal demon-type creatures, who are carefully steering world history.
* Writer George Saunders is big on this. In the short story collection ''[=CivilWarLand=] in Bad Decline'' he has several examples, as most of his stories are very dreamlike. In the title story, the main character works in a Civil War themed Amusement Park where he regularly encounters a family of ghosts who lived on the land during the Civil War. Another story features a man hounded by the ghost of a child who was killed due to his negligence. Other than these elements the stories are grounded in reality (if perhaps an overly bleak version of reality).
* Much of Salman Rushdie's ''Literature/MidnightsChildren'' is considered Magic Realism, as the children in the title have various powers and abilities ranging from beauty capable of blinding people to an ability to physically hurt people with words.
* ''Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton'' is a normal life story and period piece, except the title character was born as an old man and ages backward.
* Virtually everything by Creator/HarukiMurakami falls into this category, along with MagicAIsMagicA, ScrewTheRulesIHavePlot, and HowUnscientific. ''Literature/TheWindUpBirdChronicle'' and ''Literature/AWildSheepChase'' are probably the best examples.
* A big portion of Etgar Keret's stories. Few examples: A winged man pretending to be an angel, several magicians [[MagiciansAreWizards capable of real magic]], [[AndIMustScream soldiers who got turned into body targets]], a guy with mind-controlling ability (who uses it to get laid) and a boy who can control ants (and uses them to take the school away).
* ''Snow in August'' by Pete Hamill pulls out the MagicalRealism card in the last few chapters. In order to punish the gang of anti-semitic thugs that beat a Jewish store clerk into a coma, threatened Michael and his friends, beat him up later on, attempted to sexually assault his mother, beat up Rabbi Hirsch, and repeatedly vandalized the temple with swastikas, Michael [[spoiler: performs the Golem summoning ritual in the legend the Rabbi told him and actually succeeds. As part of the miracle, all of the gang's victims are also healed, and the Rabbi's wife who was killed by the Nazis is brought back to life.]]
* Michael Bishop's ''Brittle Innings'' is a coming-of-age story about a mute teenager who plays on a minor-league baseball team in the Deep South during World War II, when all the 'real' ball players are fighting the war. It's almost an incidental detail that the team's slugging first baseman is [[spoiler:Frankenstein]].
* In ''Literature/TheBoyWhoCouldntSleepAndNeverHadTo'', nobody knows why Eric can't sleep and doesn't have to (and very few people are even aware that's the case): most of the narrative attention is given to his and Darren's life as geeky high schoolers [[spoiler:until TheMenInBlack find out]]. Interestingly, there may actually be an explanation for it. [[http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Sleep/medical-mystery-boy-sleep/story?id=4828035#.TzR7ulyJfNI Rhett Lamb]] almost never slept, and [[http://thexodirectory.com/2008/03/hai-ngoc-sleepless-man-for-more-than-30/ Hai Ngoc]] hasn't slept in thirty years. It looks like this can be caused by odd, rare medical conditions, though it's certainly fantastic.
* Creator/HarlanEllison's short story "Jeffty Is Five" takes place entirely in the real world with the exception of the best friend of the narrator; a boy who never ages past the age of five and whose room is a time vortex where it's always the fifties and his radio still picks up ''new'' episodes of old classic serials.
* Karen Tei Yamashita's ''Tropic of Orange'' proudly parades its magic realism and Gabriel García Márquez influence. Seven main characters in modern-day Los Angeles and Mexico's lives interweave in strange and not-very-satisfying ways when an orange causes a gigantic traffic accident, then firestorm on a major freeway. Meanwhile, another orange that happened to grow on the Tropic of Cancer (which was fertilized somehow by the woman who works on the property) causes the geography to shift completely when... well, it still doesn't make much sense, except there were lots of [[AuthorTract Author Tracts.]]
** Similarly, her novel ''Through the Arc of the Rainforest''. The plot revolves around a massive field of [[GreenRocks plastic with seemingly magical properties]] being uncovered in the middle of TheAmazon, and the manner in which the main characters (including an American businessman with three arms, a Japanese railway conductor with a little ball floating in front of his face, and a Brazilian radio evangelist who thinks that the plastic is holy) interact with it.
* In ''Literature/{{Skellig}}'', ''à la'' the page quote, the eponymous character is a man with wings who might be an angel and who lives in the young protagonist's garage.
* Zenia from Margaret Atwood's ''The Robber Bride'' has no provable supernatural abilities, but with her palpable aura of evil she reminds one of a fairy tale witch.
* Pretty much the entire output of both Kelley Link and her husband Gavin J. Grant. In almost all of the stories the two have written, really weird stuff happens (ghosts, zombie apocalypse, a handbag that holds an entire town, a stream-of-consciousness television show that appears on random stations at random times) but no one reacts as if it was at all strange.
* An unusual biographical example in ''Literature/StrangerThanFictionTheLifeAndTimesOfSplitEnz'', which chronicles the foundation and original run of the New Zealand band ''Split Enz''... oh, and {{God}} shows up at one point.
* Amos Tutuola's books depict magic realism in an African setting. The protagonists live in a world where they often come in contact with spirits of the Bush. A good example is ''Literature/ThePalmWineDrinkard''.
* ''Grooves: A Kind of Mystery'' by Kevin Brockmeier has a pretty normal world, but audio messages are encoded in such unusual things as the ripples on rippled potato chips and the texture of blue jeans. The message? "He's stealing the light from our eyes," which is literally what "he" was doing.
* There's a whole sub-genre of historical fiction that fits this. Generally the earlier the era and/or the more non-western the culture dealt with, the more likely this is. Common features are prophetic dreams/visions, an individual or group of individuals with mystic knowledge and something like the Australian Dream Time. Often features a clash with a more "advanced" nation that considers the more "primitive" peoples beliefs rank superstition and are usually the bad guys.
** Both ''The Spiral Dance'', set during the Great Northern Rebellion in Elizabethan England and ''American Woman'', and account of the Battle of the Little Big Horn and the events leading up to it from the perspective of the white wife of a Cheyenne warrior by Rodrigo Garcia y Robertson. In fact most of Garcia y Robertson's stuff qualifies.
* In the collaborative series ''The Mongoliad'' by, among others Creator/NealStephenson and Creator/GregBear, set in 1241 and revolving around a quest to assassinate the Great Khan of the invading Mongols at least one characters has a holy vision. Several others also have visions that are [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane more open to interpretation as hallucinations but may not be]].
* Tananarive Due's ''The Between'' in which a man is haunted by the ghosts of his alternate selves who feel that he should have died in their place. Also her ''African Immortals'' series which is about a group of ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin given eternal life by the stolen blood of Jesus. There are also ghosts.
* Sharyn [=McCrumb=]'s ''Ballad'' novels, slice of life/mysteries set in rural North Carolina featuring Nora Bonesteel an old woman who has "The Sight". One book also features a ghost.
* Happens in two of Creator/JodiPicoult's books. In ''Change of Heart'', Shay Bourne is somehow able to cure one of his cellmates of AIDS and cause water to turn into wine. In fact, a priest specifically sees him as [[MessianicArchetype a Jesus-analogue]]. The main focus of the book, however, is on the ramifications of the death penalty. The trope is in fact double-subverted because some of his miraculous acts have mundane explanations, but then the little girl who he donated his heart to miraculously brings her dog back to life. In ''Harvesting the Heart'', Paige has the ability to draw pictures of people and weave some of their hidden memories or desires into the drawing. The focus of that book is mainly on Paige's problems with being a mother.
* While Janet Evanovich's ''StephaniePlum'' series mostly avoids this (except for Morelli's Great Aunt Bella whose curses are a case of MaybeMagicMaybeMundane) the holiday oriented subseries feature Diesel (now with his own series), a magical bounty hunter who specializes in chasing "specials" (people with mutant powers) gone bad.
* Toni Morrison's classic ''Literature/{{Beloved}}'' has the resurrection of Sethe's unnamed daughter (whose tombstone simply read [[TitleDrop "Beloved"]]). How this happened, or why Beloved is as old as she would have been, is never discussed. The ghost in the opening sequence (implied to be the same character as Beloved) would also qualify.
** Toni Morrison's earlier novel ''Literature/SongOfSolomon'' is also a good example. Aside from being the fairly mundane story of a dysfunctional middle class African-American family in 1960s Michigan, there's a persistent folk tale about an ancestor of the protagonist who may or may not have discovered the power of flight, a woman who crawled out of her mother's womb as a baby and was inexplicably born without a navel, a few albino animals that mysteriously show up at weird intervals, and one secondhand story about an encounter with a ghost.
* Diana Gabaldon's ''Literature/{{Outlander}}'' series, which would be a normal historical romance set in the 18th century if one of the two main characters wasn't from the 20th. Later books in the series throw in ghosts, [[MagicalNativeAmerican Indian wise men and woman]] and [[HollywoodVoodoo slaves practicing Voudoun]]. Although her Lord John Grey stories are set in the same world they're straight mysteries that, ironically in one story uses a ScoobyDooHoax.
* Jo Walton's ''Among Others'' about a Welsh girl in an English boarding school trying, with the occasional help of the faerie to cope with life and the psychic attacks of her mother, an evil witch.
* Creator/MichaelChabon's ''Literature/{{Summerland}}'' starts out as this. It revolves around a quirky little island community where it always rains (but always has inexplicably perfect weather at the local baseball field), and includes a BunglingInventor who builds miniature airships, a teenage boy who's convinced that he's an android, and a 109 year-old retired baseball player. Then the SaveTheWorldClimax plot starts, and it makes a GenreShift into full-on HighFantasy.
* Creator/BruceSterling's ''Zeitgeist'', set in the midst of [[MillenniumBug [=Y2K=]]] hysteria and featuring one [[TheTrickster "Leggy" Starlitz]] and his [[MagicalGirl rather odd daughter]].
* Creator/TimPowers' ''Last Call'' could be a Donald Westlake story of a gambler in too deep with gangsters except for the tangle of Tarot mysticism, astrology and folk magic that gets thrown in and that the debt the gangster is trying to collect on [[BodySnatcher is the gamblers body]].
* Kevin Brockmeier's books and stories are almost always this. The fantastic elements are used to illustrate and explore aspects of human nature. (For example, ''The Illumination'' deals with how the world would change if physical pain was suddenly manifested as visible light.)
* ''Literature/TheThousandAutumnsOfJacobDeZoet'' by David Mitchell is a fairly standard historical drama set around the Dutch trading post in turn-of-the-19th-Century Nagasaki except for the villainous Lord Abbot Enomoto who can drain the life out of small animals and insects and who [[spoiler: claims to be six hundred years old thanks to [[BlackMagic child sacrifice]]]].
* His ''Literature/{{Ghostwritten}}'' is a collection of loosely connected vignettes, some which are this. One has a young girl's ghost haunting the narrator's apartment, two others feature a wandering soul that [[spoiler: has become detached from the cycle of reincarnation]], one of which is told from the souls perspective, the other has it [[spoiler: masquerading as a tree spirit]].
* ''Literature/CloudAtlas'', also a collection of loosely connected stories, this time spread, not only across space but time as well, has reincarnation as a persistent theme and one of the stories features what may either be visions or hallucinations.
* Keith Hartman's two ''Drew Parke'' novels are gritty detective stories set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture but the title character gets visions from a dead [[MagicalNativeAmerican Cherokee shaman]] and his sometime partner is a Wiccan who practices RitualMagic.
* Delia Sherman's ''The Porcelain Dove"', about a cursed family of French aristocrats during the build up to the French Revolution. [[TheMagicGoesAway It's also hinted that once magic was both more common and more powerful]].
* Louise Erdrich's ''Love Medicine'' and the prequel, ''Tracks'', take elements of this trope. In Tracks, natural disasters seem to happen whenever one of the main characters is wronged and throughout both novels the character Nanapush is hinted to be descended from the trickster God of the Ojibwe tribe.
* ''The Jehovah Contract'' by Victor Koman, in which the protagonist, a profession assassin with a sideline/cover identity as a private eye, is given a contract by Satan to kill God [[spoiler: and it actually turns out to be a XanatosGambit by the Triple Goddess to do in both God ''and'' the Devil]].
* A few of the novels and short works in Creator/StephenKing's catalog could be classified as this, for the simple fact that [[TheVerse almost all of his fiction takes place in the same continuity]], meaning that the fantastical elements from his outright horror and fantasy works will often creep into the background of his works that focus on more mundane character relationships. Fantastical stuff is always happening ''somewhere'' in a Stephen King work, but the plot may not always focus directly on it.
** The short story [[Literature/HeartsInAtlantis "Low Men in Yellow Coats"]], about an IntergenerationalFriendship between a young boy and a mysterious elderly fugitive staying at his family's boarding house, is a particularly good example. The relationship between the two characters is at the center of the plot, but the old man also happens to have PsychicPowers, and his pursuers are a bizarre crew of AmbiguouslyHuman beings who are heavily hinted to be either demons or {{Eldritch Abomination}}s. And [[Literature/TheDarkTower the final book]] in the HighFantasy ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series eventually reveals that the story's events tie directly into the series' SavingTheWorld plot.
* While her [[Literature/TheSookieStackhouseMysteries Sookie Stackhouse]] novels fall somewhere between MagicalMundane and UrbanFantasy Creator/CharlaineHarris' ''Harper Connelly'' stories, about a woman who, after being struck by lightning gains the ability to locate dead bodies and know how they died, falls straight into this territory. The existence of other people with psychic powers is mentioned briefly in the first book and we meet a couple in the second. [[spoiler: Harper also encounters a ghost in the second book, ''Grave Surprise''.]]
* ''Teeth'' by Hannah Moskowitz has magical fish that heal any ailments and increase peoples' lifespans upon digestion, but the prospect of ghosts existing is treated as ridiculous to both the protagonist and his parents.
* J. M. Sidorova's ''The Age of Ice'' follows the protagonist from his conception in a palace constructed from ice, including the bed he was conceived in, over his lifespan which lasts over 250 years. He is also AnIcePerson who may be an incarnation of Old Man Frost.
* ThomasPynchon's ''Literature/GravitysRainbow''. It's the closing months of WW2, featuring witchcraft, talking mice, a man who can have your nightmares ''for you'', a trip to Hell and a sentient lightbulb.
* While Joe Hill is best known as a horror writer, some of his shorter work is this.
* Creator/CheriePriest's ''Four and Twenty Blackbirds'' mixes this with Southern Gothic in a story about a girl who sees ghosts dealing with the legacy of her great-great grandfather, an evil sorcerer.
* The ''Literature/TheHammerAndTheCross'' series by Creator/HarryHarrison and Creator/JRRTolkien scholar Tom Shippey (as "John Holm") merges this and AlternateHistory. The tone is entirely realistic except various characters have divine visions (after the ingestion of hallucinogens) which convey information about things happening elsewhere, and sometimes share and interact inside said visions.
* In ''Literature/TheBedroomSecretsOfTheMasterChefs'', the character of Danny Skinner deiscovers that the damage that ought to accrue to his body from his hard-drinking, football hooliganism lifestyle is instead inflicted on his workplace rival, Brian Kibby.
* In ''The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake'' by Aimee Bender, Rose has the ability to [[TheEmpath taste the emotions]] of whoever cooked her food. The book, however, mostly focuses on her relations with her family. Her brother Joseph is said to frequently vanish without a trace, and near the end of the book it's revealed that [[spoiler: he involuntarily turns into furniture at times. Her father also reveals that his father could smell peoples' characters and he himself is implied to be able to heal people.]]
* Alice Hoffman's ''Literature/GreenAngel'' duet is especially magical--Green's skill at gardening can make plants grow overnight, the tattoos she does on herself slowly change color from black to green and red, and her damaged eyes are restored to full vision after she finally breaks down and [[SwissArmyTears cries in grief]] for her deceased family.
* In ''TheWatchmakerOfFiligreeStreet,'' the watches made by the title character can never be lost or sold - they always return to their owners. [[spoiler: Mori is also precognitive.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The supernatural soap opera ''Series/{{Passions}}'' is mostly focused around the mundane escapades of the Crane family... but ongoing subplots focus on the resident WickedWitch Tabitha. WordOfGod claimed that the show was meant to actually serve as a subversion of this trope, since supernatural elements, which proved to be popular in story arcs for soaps, were present from the get-go and lasted throughout the series' run.
* ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'': Sophia encounters her husband's ghost twice, Blanche may have encountered her grandmother's ghost once, Dorothy may have been cursed by a witch, Sophia may have been a witch, the girls encountered bizarre dreams, and let's not get started about St. Olaf...
* Much like ''The Golden Girls'', ''Series/TheNanny'' has a few moments like this. Fortune tellers prophecies coming true in eerily accurate ways. Fran endures a curse that begins to reset itself the second she starts making things right. The miracle of Hanukkah is reenacted in one Christmas episode (with gas in their car instead of oil in the temple.) They also implied that Fran's family had some kind of supernatural powers (they implied that Yetta had the ability to curse people, and once, when Sylvia is dancing with joy, a freak thunderstorm started.) A short while before marrying Fran, Mr. Sheffield is visited by his dead wife's ghost, where she reveals that not only she's happy to see him get married again, [[spoiler: she was the one who sent Fran to him]].
* The Fox dramedy ''Series/KeyWest'' was, in its short time om the air, one of the best examples of this on television.
* The [[BritCom British]] SitCom ''Series/TwoPointFourChildren'' is a prime example.
** It is a perfectly mundane show, with the exception of the strange things that happen to the mother, Bill Porter. Like the number of prophetic dreams she's had, or the time she found herself chased... by a hurricane (the storm literally followed her when she left Miami to avoid it, and was also named Hurricane Bill).
** Odd things occasionally happen to her husband as well. Yes, it's ''possible'' that his SitcomArchNemesis (who's a ''Series/ThePrisoner'' fan) might kidnap him and leave him in Portmerion... but then Rover appears... And the man on the motorcycle who kept appearing whenever Bill needed help and who may actually have been [[spoiler: DeadAllAlong]].
** One episode has the characters believing that a neighbor is a vampire, and breaking into his house with a giant crucifix. There appears to be a rational explanation -- but the ending of the episode strongly implies he ''is'' a real vampire.
* Later seasons of ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' toyed with magical realism, such as a nightclub that turns into a meat-packing plant by day, or Elaine meeting a group of people who are physically similar but emotionally the exact opposites of Jerry, George and Kramer. Also, a woman who seemingly changed from beautiful to hideous on the spot, and Kramer owned a dummy that apparently came to life at the end of the episode. Also the [[EldritchAbomination stink]] in Jerry's car.
* ''Series/MySoCalledLife'' was a straight up teen SoapOpera {{Dramedy}} and contained absolutely no supernatural elements whatsoever. Except for the episode "Halloween," where Angela encounters a ghost. Or "My So-Called Angels" (widely regarded as one of the best and most [[TearJerker tearjerking]] episodes) where both Angela and ''her mother'' talk to a (sort of) angel.
* ''Series/TwinPeaks'' actually barely fits here, but it's worth mentioning. Most of the show is fairly mundane, but when it isn't, it's uproariously supernatural. Actually, most of David Lynch's work is like this: mundane human drama interspersed with the '''pants-crappingly bizarre.'''
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' normally stays within confines of (wacky) realism, but it did feature a ghost, a boob-obsessed robot and evil versions of the main characters from an alternate reality. In all instances it's unclear whether the supernatural elements are imagined by the characters or not.
* ''Series/{{Spaced}}'' features elements of light MagicalRealism, such as Colin the dog (who seems to be more intelligent than he ought to be), a vivisectionist who can disappear at will and a pair of CreepyTwins who speak with one voice.
* As mentioned above, ''Series/DueSouth'' allows ghosts, who demonstrate abilities to affect the real world. They do, however, appear mostly only to those with an emotional connection to them. One story, too, involves the likely involvement of the literal Raven trickster, and another a voodoo conflict which may or may not have involved actual magic.
* ''Series/SlingsAndArrows'', depending on your perspective. It's possible, of course, that Geoffrey's just crazy - but it's also not made obvious that Oliver's ghost ''isn't'' hanging around.
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete'' is a bit like ''Series/TwinPeaks'' [[RecycledInSpace FOR KIDS!]]. The world isn't really ''magical,'' but it is ''extremely'' bizarre and the inexplicable often happens. Like the superhero who lives there, or a boxing match between an evil garbageman and Santa Claus.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'':
** In this universe, ghosts exist. In one episode, Booth is helped by the ghost of a dead soldier while stuck inside a booby-trapped ship. Brennan meets him at the end of the episode without knowing who or what he is. Then in a more recent episode the story is viewed from the perspective of a victim's ghost.
** Avalon, Angela's psychic, appears to be more than just deluded. She has made several uncannily accurate guesses about Booth and Brennan's relationship and about the victim in one of the Institute's cases.
** Temperance has a near-death experience in which she encounters her dead mother.
** Not magic, but the episode with a dead [=UFOlogist=] ends on a ''[[NothingIsScarier very]]'' creepy note.
* ''Series/{{Felicity}}'' broke into this by the end. The main character can't decide between Ben and Noah? Simple; her Wiccan friend will cast a spell that sends her back in time a few years so she has enough time to figure everything out. Yes, kids, Creator/JJAbrams created it.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' is about as grounded in reality as they come.
** Except for the slightly surreal season four finale, where Jeanne is implied to see the [[TheGrimReaper Angel of Death]], in the form of a small child. At the end Jeanne mentions the girl and is told that it was a girl who was lost and whose parents were looking for her, so it seems like this is subverted, but then we see the girl... and she looks nothing like the one Jeanne saw before.
** Plus Gibbs' infallible instincts. And his ability to get a boat out of his basement. Be fair, no one really knows for sure what happened to the boat. He may have simply broken it down and started over. Both this and his instincts are justified by RuleOfFunny. In one episoden Gibbs has a near-death experience in which he encounters dead friends and family.
* Even ignoring Zack's [[BreakingTheFourthWall fourth-wall breaking powers]], ''Series/SavedByTheBell'' has some weird stuff going on, including an apparently sapient robot and a lightning strike causing a character to temporarily gain precognition. ''Speaking'' of the fourth-wall powers, Zack can actually say "Time out," and ''everything but him stops,'' and he usually does this to talk to the audience, but he ''is'' capable of actually moving things around while time is frozen, and once quickly uses "time out" to avoid being punched in the face. It's not a gag that "doesn't count" story-wise; ''Zack Morris has for-real time-altering powers.''
* It's sketchy, but ''Series/{{Lost}}'' fits the definition of Magical Realism better than it does any other type of SpeculativeFiction. When you boil it down, ''Lost'' is the story of some [[AbusiveParent seriously]] [[TheWoobie dysfunctional]] [[DarkAndTroubledPast people]] who get stuck together, forge some real connections, figure out how to survive in a hostile environment, [[CharacterDevelopment become better people]] and eventually let go of their issues. This story just happens to take place on [[LostWorld an island]] that's been known to move through space and time, can heal people, and is home to ghosts and people with immortality (among other things).[[note]]And just so you lot are clear, there was absolutely nothing magical or supernatural about [[MisplacedWildlife the polar bear]].[[/note]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' sometimes verges into this territory, including events that waver between magical and highly unlikely. (Dopplegangers, some of Barney's schemes.) However, the show can always fall back on the fact that Ted has been established as an UnreliableNarrator, leaving it unclear which events happened exactly as described and which have been embellished or misremembered. Also, a couple of season five episodes have Marshall seemingly time-traveling as minor elements.
* ''Series/PushingDaisies'' was weird about this: the premise is that the main character can bring the dead back to life, so it's clearly UrbanFantasy, but that's the ''only'' explicitly magical element. The rest of the world is a Magic Realism-esque one: there's a car that runs on dandelions, two characters who can SherlockScan by smell and a jockey who [[spoiler: had the legs of his dead horse transplanted into his body to replace his own]], but none of this is treated as magical, unlike the protagonist's necromancy.
%%* ''Series/{{Life on Mars|2006}}'' and its spin-off ''Series/AshesToAshes''.
* The ghosts that visit Tommy in ''Series/RescueMe'' may or may not be real.
%%* ''Series/NightCourt'' was packed with examples of this trope.
* ''Series/{{Alias}}'' does this with the Rambaldi artifacts with which Arvin Sloan has an obsession. They do things that are on the border of magic and technology, and are never fully explained. In the series finale, [[spoiler:the Rambaldi artifacts become clearly magical, as they preserve Sloan alive forever, trapped underground.]] Creator/JJAbrams, y'all.
* ''Series/TheUnusuals'' is an otherwise completely normal (if quirky) cop show that has a character who receives occasional prophetic messages from fortune cookies and, in the pilot, is the recipient of a ''Film/PulpFiction''-style miracle. And then there's the episode "42," which seems to indicate that a psychic they question can really see the future.
* The real world portions of ''Series/OnceUponATime'' are this. The Fairy world portions are of course much more explicitly magical. Since [[spoiler: Emma broke the curse, explicit magical elements have creeped into Storybrooke as well]].
* Kenneth in ''Series/ThirtyRock'' is ReallySevenHundredYearsOld. This is played totally as a RunningGag. The "Leap Day" episode, which celebrates leap year as an actual holiday, and has an entire mythology built around it, complete with a "Santa Claus" figure, Leap Day William. He turns out to be real.
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'': The time travel stuff and the seldom-seen future setting of MissionControl are the only non-mundane features of the universe, as the bulk of an episode is the mission to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong in the lives of normal people. "That guy runs someone over on Friday if he keeps up the illegal street-racing; help him learn his lesson before then" is the usual mission rather than "prevent WorldWarThree." But we once meet the devil, and once has Sam leap into a vampire. He also meets a ghost and an angel.
* If Halloween specials count, every sitcom in ABC's TGIF line ran into the supernatural but its characters never saw fit to mention it during the rest of the year or adjust their worldview knowing that [[BoyMeetsWorld Cory]] traveled through time or that [[StepByStep TJ]] got dating advice from a ghost.
* Another "the fantastic exists, but not ''that'' kind" example: ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' shares TheVerse with magic-based teams, but that particular series was all sci-fi - good guys were a HeroesRUs organization, bad guys were GattacaBabies GoneHorriblyWrong. However, the Yellow Ranger meets the ghost of a previous owner of their clock tower. The ghost is gone once she ends up changing history and giving him a happy ending, and there's some question as to whether or not any of it happened, but we get the OrWasItADream reveal with a painting that is now different
* ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' had a storyline in which Izzie's dead fiance Denny came back as a ghost, though she was the only one who could see him. It turned out to be because she had [[ArtisticLicenseBiology melanoma that reached her brain]], though it was never stated [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane whether or not it was just a hallucination or it was because he was trying to warn her.]] It seemed like a bit of both.
** There was another episode where Meredith has a near-death experience (seeing three dead people, including Denny), at the end of which she encounters her mother (who is dying at the same moment in another room). As soon as she wakes up, she announces that her mother is dead before anyone else can tell her.
* The live-action Disneyverse as a whole. There have been numerous crossovers so it's all one world and you have [[Series/ThatsSoRaven psychic teens]], [[Series/DogWithABlog tallking dogs]] and of course [[Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace wizards]]. You also have more normal shows that have the occasional strange occurences.
** ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'' had WeirdScience and a ghost that haunted the hotel, it's sequel/spinoff ''SuiteLifeOnDeck'' also had a ghost as well as mermaids, the Bermuda Triangle and a sentient computer.
** ''Series/{{Jessie}}'' had the title character possessed by a ghost in one episode
** ''Series/HannahMontana'' had a ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' type plot with Hannah and her brother going back in time to when their parents met.
** While ''Series/AntFarm'' is, aside from the occasional flirtation with WeirdScience realistic the Halloween episodes feature an AlternateReality where Chyna is a GorgeousGorgon, Olivia is a big headed MadScientist, Angus is a zombie and Fletcher is a vampire. This became canon in the third season episode when the mutants crossed over into the regular universe via a dimensional portal.
* ''Series/NorthernExposure'' is actually a fantasy series. After all, it has characters who have prescient or telepathic dreams, pregnant ladies who speak only in song, ghosts, aliens, tribal magic, Jewish mysticism (practiced by Native Americans no less), and a man who can fly under his own power in his sleep. Unfortunately, people tend to look at you funny if you actually point out that it was one of the most successful fantasy programs in network television history. Lacking elves and whatnot, it usually gets pigeonholed as Magic Realism.
* ''Series/TheAlmightyJohnsons'', a {{Dramedy}} about a family in UsefulNotes/NewZealand who happen to be reincarnated [[Myth/NorseMythology Norse gods]].
* Nostradamus' visions in the pilot and later plunge ''Series/{{Reign}}'' into this territory.
* The ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'' spinoff ''Series/{{Ravenswood}}'', about a town haunted by both a curse and it's victims.
* ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'', about a mixed marriage between a mortal and a witch.
* ''Series/IDreamOfJeannie'', a similarly themed show about a human astronaut and a female genie.
* British soap opera ''Night and Day'' interspersed the typical soap drama with supernatural elements such as parallel realities, witches, and the final episode ending with the revelation that [[spoiler: the main character, who was ostensibly returning home after being released from jail, had actually died on the morning of her release and was now a ghost.]]
* ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'' - The title character is written as if he were a FallenAngel, Will's empathic abilities are indistinguishable from actual clairvoyance, and every SerialKiller around is some kind of MadArtist who turns their victims into complicated displays, the logistics of which are never explained.
* ''Series/{{Man Seeking Woman}}'' - The main character gets set up on a date with a troll, his ex-girlfriend is dating Hitler, and a stuffed toy came to life and attacked. No one really questions any of that.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/TheUndertaker. He can apparently control lightning and fire, the arena lights always dim when he makes his entrance and then there's the rolling fog. None of the other wrestlers question this or even seem bothered by the fact that they are sharing a locker room with an apparent supernatural being. Except of course there was that brief time when he went around in a biker costume calling himself the American Badass.
** This was later worked into his gimmick as Taker got older and his body couldn't keep up with a rigorous schedule, working (at best) a few months out of the year. It's now explicitly stagecraft; the "power of the Undertaker" is his ability to awe through his mere presence, and being the most [[BadassGrandpa long-running performer to still look good by his own merits]].
** Under a similar category, Papa Shango's "voodoo curses" seemed completely effective against his targets.
* A more recent example would be the character Winter in Wrestling/{{TNA}}. She only appeared in backstage segments with Angelina Love and kept disappearing whenever she looked away. The announcers never mentioned her and apparently only Angelina could see her. Then Angelina accepted her as her lover and now she actively competes on the roster.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Creator/TheBBC Radio 4 drama serial ''Little Grudges'' is based on real-life experiences of Radio 4 listeners, and is therefore as "real" as it gets. Except for the pixies...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Tony Kushner's ''AngelsInAmerica'' takes place in modern-day (well, [[TheNineties modern at the time]]) America, and it has [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angels]], [[Literature/TheBible Biblical]] visions, ancestral spirits, a dream sequence in which two characters who have never met are able to communicate with each other, and on and on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/MetalGear''. Real world setting, real guns, lots of talking about real-life politics and science, but also features walking robots, magical floating psychics, autotrophic snipers, bee men and ghosts. The original title featured a collection of CharlesAtlasSuperpower bosses, the EnsembleDarkHorse of which was a floating, fourth-wall breaking psychic. Later games would expand upon this with a steady increase of Magic Realism. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' dabbled with DoingInTheWizard, but official WordOfGod is that Vamp was still immortal in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' and Ocelot [[spoiler: ''was'' possessed, but had the arm removed and started faking possession instead]].
* ''NoMoreHeroes'' seems to take place in a fairly dull Californian city. Except for the fact that the protagonist purchases a functioning lightsaber on eBay and proceeds to off progressively more bizarre assassins. At one point [[spoiler:his mentor dies, but afterward the mentor's ghost continues his job working at the gym.]] No one seems to find any of this at all odd.
** Of course, this is from the same mind that brought us ''VideoGame/{{Killer7}}'', a political thriller starring a man who can transform into seven different people, see and speak to the dead, and fight exploding monsters that possess human bodies. And then there's ''NoMoreHeroes2'', which has Travis Touchdown using dimension warps and fighting ghosts, among other things.
* A recurring element in the ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' series. Mojo and ghosts exist, and raising the dead nets you a life sentence in prison.
* The entire ''VideoGame/{{Mother}}'' series has definite elements of Magic Realism, which are especially prominent in ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}''.
* The game of ''VideoGame/TheDarkness'' is about a mafia hitman who just so happens to become possessed by a millenia-old demon that grants him superpowers. The main focus of the plot is still his quest for vengeance against the entirely mortal don who betrayed him.
* ''{{Pathologic}}''. The setting is realistic, the characters are very human, one of the playable characters has {{Lovecraftian Super Power}}s. There are a bunch of medicine men wrapped head to toe in bandages who sell herbs that grow from blood. There are loads of children walking around without parents, and occasionally wearing the dead heads of dogs as masks. Disease clouds attack you. They come in the form of horrendous, symbolic abominations. We haven't even discussed the rather meta theater themes...
* The ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' series occasionally slides into the supernatural, despite being a historical RTS game. For instance, one Viking level in ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'' features lindworms in the sea that devour boats, and the campaign of ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresIII'' involves a mystical fountain of youth in the new world as the MacGuffin which, as we find out later, [[spoiler:really does make people immortal, though that point is completely out of left field]].
* This trope is a staple of Creator/KeyVisualArts works, which tend to follow a common formula: firstly there's a common route set in a basic school setting with nothing remotely supernatural or only very vague hints at anything non-mundane, then there are a couple of character routes that involve explicitly supernatural elements (e.g., a character turning out to be a [[DeadAllAlong ghost]]) but also other totally realistic routes, and then the main route reveals some kind of important magical element that forms the basis of the entire game (e.g., for ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'' this was [[spoiler:the balls of light, which appear when someone experiences true happiness (or, when you finish a route) and can be used to grant a wish.]]) But in the end, the character development and interaction is always clearly the focal point, the magical elements merely providing a frame for it.
* ''VideoGame/KentuckyRouteZero'' paints the Bluegrass State as one of these. The elements of ghost stories abound, but no one pays much mind to them.
* ''VideoGame/TheRiddleOfMasterLu'' is set in a slightly alternative-history version of our world before the Second World War, but it contains the very literally unlucky Romanov Emerald, and the whole plot is set around the search for the Emerald Seal, which by the sound of it has magical powers that could help anyone become a dictator somehow. The protagonist Robert Ripley doesn't seem too perturbed by the idea of something being magical, in fact he takes it for granted about the Seal, and seems convinced an ancient tower where human sacrifices were committed is literally haunted, even though there is no evidence for this other than a very oppressive atmosphere.
* The ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'' takes place in a mostly realistic depiction of 16th Century Eurasia. Except there's an evil sword of supernatural power out there that everyone wants to get a hold of. Oh, and there's a good counterpart up for grabs as well. Not to mention the golem, the lizardman, the demon-hunting ninja, that Greek woman who keeps getting visions from [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hephaestus]], the [[ScaryBlackMan scary black guy]] who claims he was born in Babylonian times, and not just one but ''two'' people who may or may not be [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]]. To the series' credit, they're used well, but they're more played up with each title: the very first game was basically the real world with a few low-key fantastical elements, while ''V'' arguably leaves this trope and ventures into the realm of HighFantasy.
* SpecOpsTheLine might dip into this depending on your interpretation. Just enough odd things happen through the course of the story that can easily be written off as hallucinations in the mind of the [[ShellShockedVeteran PTSD-addled protagonist]], but there's also enough evidence to support the alternate, equally popular theory that [[spoiler: Walker died at the start of the game during the InMediasRes helicopter battle, and the rest of the game is his own personal hell.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** Spirit channeling is a real thing, but in most cases it stays in the sidelines, being only used as a way for Phoenix to get help from his [[TheObiWan late mentor]]. The existence of spirit channelers also leads to Phoenix owning a magical LieDetector artifact, [[spoiler:and to a few cases where spirit channeling was directly involved in the crime]].
** Apollo's HyperAwareness through his bracelet, that leads to him becoming a LivingLieDetector, could be seen as another hint of magical realism at first, [[DoingInTheWizard but it has a perfectly scientific explanation]]. His entire family has a gene that allows them to subtly perceive other people's twitches and nervousness, and the tight bracelet allows Apollo to notice more easily when he's subconsciously perceiving it through body temperature increases and the like.
* ''VisualNovel/UtaNoPrinceSama'' would be just another OtomeGame with an idealistic vision of the idol business... if it wasn't for magic being real (although seemingly only prominent in invented countries like Permafrost or Agnapolis).
* In ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc'', Squeaker is a FunnyAnimal who can rotate his head 360 degrees. No one finds this odd except for Kant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Shortpacked}}'' is an interesting example. The previous webcomic by the same author, ''It's Walky'', was straight-out science-fiction adventure about a group of alien-abductee government agents. ''Shortpacked'' exists in the same world, but in a much more mundane setting -- a toy store. Thus, the elements that took center stage in ''It's Walky'' are pushed to the edges, and the genre shifts to MagicalRealism.
** Since the weirdness ''does'' have a canon explanation in TheVerse, just not in that series, it's more like AllThereInTheManual. Except replace "manual" with "[[ArchiveBinge the entire archives of several previous comic strips]]".
* ''Webcomic/PicturesForSadChildren'' is mainly about the pressures of modern life and the clash between the opposite sides of the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism Sliding Scale]]. The main characters are Paul, a recently-deceased BedsheetGhost, and Gary, whose extended family was recently revealed to collectively possess the same powers as [[Literature/TheBible Jesus]].
* LampshadeHanging: Within the ''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}'' anything made in Mexico contains "Mexican magical realism." For example, a camera that takes pictures of what a person feels like, an RV that is always raining on the inside, and a helicopter that moves by causing the occupants legs to grow to several hundred feet and walking.
** Most recently, a Nagel serape that grants wishes [[spoiler:(actually only the "Hecho en Mexico" tag attached to it grants wishes)]].
* ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'' slips in a fair amount of this, mostly in science-fiction or alcoholic form.
** "[[http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1350 True story, or alcohol-induced fantasy? Either way, Steve's not tellin'.]]"
*** True story, as it turns out. The Russian chick with the scar turns up again in a later strip.
*** Her name is Tortura, and she is happy to meet you.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' starts out somewhat like this, before being revealed to be full on MundaneFantastic and more. Early on, it seems more or less like our world, but interacting with things vaguely follows AdventureGame tropes. When they start up their game and view each others' houses, it doesn't seem so bad. Then they start altering the real life houses, with a game, ''like it's the Sims''. It pretty much stops trying to pretend there's anything normal about their universe at that point.
* ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' is a TwoGamersOnACouch comic set in what is nominally the real world, although sometimes JesusChrist comes over to play ''VideoGame/MarioKart''. Or Gabe and Tycho will discuss video games while [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/2/9/ emerging from hideous cocoons.]]
* In ''TheDevilsPanties'', which is mostly slice-of-life, the main character occasionally chats with both Jesus and the devil, her shoulder angel and devil seem to have lives of their own and one of her roommates used to keep [[LordOfTheRings Legolas]] naked and locked in a closet.
* ''Webcomic/ThinkBeforeYouThink'' happens in a normal world, but the main character can read minds, and he is the only one, as far as we know.
* ''Webcomic/GirlsWithSlingshots'' is usually normal every day life. Except for the talking plants and the occasional impossibility thrown in for RuleOfFun, such as the laser tag game that somehow removes your clothing when you are shot. The talking house plants is a running gag and often lampshaded. Every time a new character is seen talking with them, they are relieved to find out they are not the only one that has been hearing them.
* Aside from being set in a WorldOfFunnyAnimals, ''Webcomic/DeerMe'' is a pretty mundane narrative for the most part. Then you get to the story arc with Viana's wicked niece who has a demon and magical powers.
* ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'' is generally just satire, but has some surreal elements (like the protagonist's boneless cat), and then some outright supernatural ones, like Silas, a minor character, being reincarnated a few years after being KilledOffForReal. Other dead characters have been specifically shown in either Heaven or Hell, and in recent years Davan has been having [[PsychicDreamsForEveryone dreams of dead loved ones]] who either offer advice or [[FridgeHorror seem to be predicting his own demise]].
* UserFriendly starts out in a pretty normal world and focuses on the techs at an Internet Service Provider. Mostly the humor is geek-based and requires a healthy understanding of the computer world. Also there are creatures created from the dust molecules inside a computer, another creature created from spilled coffee and rotting food, the ability to make a coffee out of "distilled usenet bitterness", and the Great Old Ones from Lovecraft (usually just Cthulhu and Hastur) actually exist.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'' is ostensibly set in the modern day real world, chiefly in the RealLife micronation Molossia. However, it keeps featuring talking stuffed animals, electromagnetic superpowers, teleportation, two-dimensional people, energy weapons, and [[SantaClaus Santa]] [[JesusChrist Christ]]; how these things exist is never explained, and most of them only have a small effect on the main plot. There's also a curious lack of interest from authorities when a bunch of internet critics invade a guy's home and start talking about conquering the world.
--> "[[Film/StreetFighter OF COURSE!]]"
* The Website/{{Everything2}} short story, [[http://everything2.com/user/Ignis/writeups/How+to+spot+a+powerful+mage?author=Ignis How to spot a powerful mage]].
* ''The Residents''[='=] Bunny Boy series is set in what could loosely be construed as "reality", if it weren't for such things as PsychicDreamsForEveryone, people who might not exist-but on some level do anyways, warped Bible prophecy, and just enough little additions and subtractions from what's "real".
* Many David Firth works, e.g. ''Roof Tiling'', ''World Within a Sock'', can be described as this. Although they can also be described as SurrealHorror.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' is sometimes like this. Notably, the ghost segments, and Stinkmeaner coming back from hell to possess Tom Dubois.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' started out fairly ordinary but after the first couple seasons inexplicable fantastical elements tended to spring up suddenly, yet the world, characters, and plot move on regardless.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead'' occasionally did this. For example, the Morning Wood Fairy turned out to be real in "The Mystery of Morning Wood," and the Roman god of feces, Sterculius, is revealed to exist in "Peace, Love, and Understanding." Creator/MikeJudge, whose subsequent series ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' is arguably the most realistic series in the history of western animation, views the aforementioned episodes as an OldShame as a result of their fantastic nature, and neglected to include them on ''The Mike Judge Collection'' DVD sets as a result.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}},'' a SpinOff of the above, also swung into this territory at times. Usually a satirical but realistic take on high school and 90's society, it also featured a BizarroEpisode where holiday spirits come to town, as well as a MusicalEpisode. "A Tree Grows in Lawndale" ends with [[spoiler:the crutch in Tommy Sherman's memorial growing a flower]], and "Legends of the Mall" implies that [[spoiler:Helen may have been attacked by Metalmouth]]. There are also a lot of scenes where minor characters will appear in two places at once, switch places or show up in flashbacks where they don't belong. It's become a fandom joke that these "animation errors" are actually signs of supernatural activities.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' had Luanne being visited by the angel of her dead boyfriend Buckley, though they [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane kept it ambiguous]] whether she was imagining it or not.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'', Noelle has telekinetic powers. These are never explained, and the show is mostly a SliceOfLife show about junior high students. The Halloween episode "I Spy A Witch" involved Hoodsie and Carl summoning a dead woman from beyond the grave. It's successful and she possesses Hoodsie to talk to Carl.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Littlest Pet Shop|2012}}'' is mostly realistic except for Blythe's ability to talk to animals and the occasional cartoony gag.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' is set in a mundane, realistic world and focuses on Arnold, his friends, and the people around them with their down-to-earth problems and daily lives. Then it factors in elements like [[TheJinx Eugene's excessive bad luck]], unusual one-shot characters like The Pigeon Man and The Sewer King, and hints that some of the local urban legends [[RealAfterAll may be true]].
* With the exceptions of the AmazingTechnicolorPopulation, Porkchop (And sometimes Stinky) walking around like a human (Not to mention the supernatural elements of the first HalloweenEpisode), ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' is a very, very realistic show. The Disney version has Skunky Beaumont befriending a mermaid, not to mention the Lake Monster from TheMovie.
* ''WesternAnimation/MarthaSpeaks'' is about a dog who gains the ability to talk after eating alphabet soup in an otherwise SliceOfLife series about a normal girl, her dogs, and her friends. Although at times, some other things come up, such as a device capable of controlling things by spoken adjectives and a photograph seemingly proving that a local ghost is real.
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' is generally a satirical take on reality shows and teenage stereotypes. However, even ignoring the CartoonPhysics and {{Nearly Normal Animal}}s, we also have canonical cases of aliens, a Sasquatch and technology that would fit in a sci-fi setting. ''All-Stars'' also had an episode where a BadMoonRising made all the animals act weird and ended with an arc about [[TheMentallyDisturbed Mike]]'s JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheProudFamily'', an otherwise normal series about a teenage girl and her family, has several strange elements show up every now and then, such as: a telepath, an evil talking baby, a talking credit card, an evil, [[RealityWarper reality-warping]] Al Roker, a blue-skinned trio of bullies, a mad scientist and his island of peanut people, ghosts, snacks that give people superpowers, etc.
[[/folder]]

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